Female science fiction writers just swept the Hugo Awards.
Obviously, science fiction books by and about women of color exist.But all too often, we don’t get to see them. Awards for literature overwhelmingly go to male authors who write about men or boys. Female writers of color face additional barriers in the literary world, especially in sci-fi, which tends to be dominated by male authors.But at a ceremony earlier this week, something cool happened: The winners of the Hugo Awards, some of the most prestigious awards in science fiction, were announced, and the top four fiction awards were awarded to four women. Three of those winners were female writers of color. In honor of these women, here are 10 recommendations for books about science fiction, fantasy, or speculative fiction by women of color: Image via Tango7174/Wikimedia Commons. 1. “The Fifth Season” by N.K. JemisinWe’ll start with the recent Hugo Award winners. If you like stories about collapsing civilizations and the apocalypse, you’ll enjoy “The Fifth Season,” which won the Hugo for best novel. (Fun fact: N.K. Jemisin is the cousin of comedian W. Kamau Bell!)2. “Binti” by Nnedi OkoraforThe Hugo for best novella went to this story about a 16-year-old on a harrowing journey to get an education. It’s only 96 pages, so you can knock this one out on a lazy Sunday afternoon.3. “Folding Beijing” by Hao JingfangThe Hugo for best novelette goes to a story between 7,500 and 17,500 words. This year’s award went to Hao Jingfang, a Chinese writer, and her translator Ken Liu, for a story set in the Beijing of the future, where the city folds in on itself every day. “Folding Beijing” is also a commentary on the divisions between social classes. You can read the full novelette online. Hao Jingfang and Ken Liu. Image via Charles Tan/YouTube. 4. “The Winged Histories” by Sofia SamatarThis novel by a Somali American author is about four women caught up in a rebellion. It’s riveting fantasy, especially if you like
It’s finally back-to-school season. And if all goes well, you’ll show up on that first day looking — and feeling — like a million bucks, right?In the first school day of your dreams, the world is your three-subject spiral notebook. And you, in your sleek new threads, are the artist with a zip-pouch full of freshly sharpened colored pencils, drawing the many-hued future of your dreams across the blank lined pages. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images. But what if looking great isn’t an option?Imagine what it might be like to wear the same clothes from last year on your first day. Not so shiny and swaggy anymore, huh?Now imagine it’s not just the first day of school. That this goes beyond that first sharp entrance. And that on any day of the year, you might roll into class unlaundered, un-showered, and wearing someone else’s ill-fitting hand-me-downs.Unfortunately, that’s the reality a lot of kids face.Some kids are homeless, some are struggling, and some are straddling the choice between spending that last dollar on food, electricity, or a trip to the laundromat.Either way, poverty often plays a role in chronic absenteeism — students missing 10% or more of the school year — just because they’re too embarrassed or afraid to show up feeling filthy.”People don’t talk about not having clean clothes because it makes you want to cry or go home or run away or something,” said Logan, an eighth-grader. “It doesn’t feel good.” Photo by Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images. In the past, schools have used things like free meals and transportation as incentives for kids to come to school. But what if all it takes now is a washing machine?In 2015, Whirlpool launched an initiative called Care Counts, which provided washing machines to 17 different schools with at-risk and low-income students.The idea was simple: Maybe if students in need could wash their clothes for free, they’d have a better reason to come to school and stay there.Some schools reported a noticeable difference
Rosemary Mosco has made comics about all kinds of animals, from agoutis to eels. But she says she’s got a soft spot for salamanders.”I feel like everybody has an animal, plant, or other creature that really clicked with them and pulled them in,” said Mosco. For her, it was the blue-spotted salamander. Photo by Greg Schechter/Flickr. “They’re colorful, long-lived, mysterious, and secretive, with a cute little smile. They belong to a hidden underground world that’s right there, out in the woods. I’ve been hooked ever since.”Mosco is a field naturalist, science communicator, and the artist behind the delightful science and nature comic bird and moon.Back in 2015, she made an awesome comic about why salamanders need our help. Comic by Rosemary Mosco, used with permission. Original can be found here. Bsal is scary for our salamander friends. It isn’t in the United States yet, but people are being super careful about it just in case.Hoping to stop the spread of Bsal, in June 2016 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service restricted 200 species of salamander from being imported to the U.S. or carried across state lines.If you need another reason to love salamanders, they help keep our forests and ecosystems healthy by eating a ton of insects and other creepy crawlies, like ticks and mosquitoes. Plus, they are part of the food chain too and go on to feed bigger animals like turtles, birds, and fish!”People protect what they love, and I want to help them love salamanders,” said Mosco.
If you want to know more about Rosemary Mosco, you can visit her website.If you want to learn more about helping salamanders, Mosco recommends checking out the Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation. She’d also like to give a shoutout to the work done by Professor An Martel and the Lips Lab.
Kiev: a city that does public art right.
What do you envision when you think of Kiev? For many in the West, the Ukraine’s capital city — plastered on front pages and scrolling across news tickers in recent years — has become synonymous with political turmoil. And there’s certainly some truth in that.But if you’ve only read gripping headlines, you’ve missed out on half the story. “Protectress,” by Mata Ruda, depicting a goddess surrounded by sunflowers — the national flower of Ukraine. Photo by Amos Chapple/RFE/RL. Sprinkled across Kiev’s towering structures, powerful displays of beauty have transformed the Ukrainian metropolis. “Boy With Darts,” by Sacha Korban. Photo by Amos Chapple/RFE/RL. Ever since widespread protests against government corruption sparked change about two years ago, many in Kiev have turned to art. Mural by artist Okuda. Photo by Amos Chapple/RFE/RL. Murals have exploded throughout the city, turning the country’s political anxieties into expressions of hope and strength. This mural by artist Nunca blends Brazilian and Ukrainian cultures to create a single subject. Photo by Amos Chapple/RFE/RL. Both international artists and locals have brightened Kiev’s weathered brick homes and businesses into wondrous works. The results are nothing short of stunning. Mural by Alexander Britz. Photo by Amos Chapple/RFE/RL. The murals began cropping up largely after the Euromaidan protests in February 2014.Angered by mass corruption and governmental mismanagement, anti-Russia protesters shook the political status quo of Ukraine, which was formerly part of the Soviet Union. Deadly riots and a national call to action culminated in the toppling of then-President Viktor Yanukovych, as well as an overhaul of much of the country’s political system.It was a grueling time for Ukrainians — and that instability has lingered into 2016 — but the unrest also spurred a burst of creative expression that has breathed new artistic life into the streets of Kiev. Man
France just learned that telling women what they can or cannot wear never ends well.
When Aheda Zanetti designed the burkini more than a decade ago, she did it for one very simple reason.”I created them to stop Muslim children from missing out on swimming lessons and sports activities,” the Australian-based designer told Politico. “There was nothing out there to suit their needs.”For the uninitiated, a burkini — a portmanteau of “burqa” and “bikini” — is essentially a full-coverage wetsuit that some Muslim women choose to wear for personal or religious reasons. Australian-Lebanese designer Aheda Zanetti. Photo by Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images. The burkini was a huge success, as Zanetti explains, because “[it] did wonders for Muslim women and girls. It created confidence to get active.”The swimsuit design has been in the news as it has come under attack in France.Telling women what they can or cannot wear never ends well — and yet, that’s what some parts of France are trying to do.In mid-August, a number of cities in France began implementing bans on burkini swimsuits on local beaches. Fitness instructor Fatma Taha models a burkini swimsuit. Photo by Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images. Those who proposed the ban on burkinis claim the garment is a threat to others. But they’re not. They’re literally just pieces of swimwear.In Cannes, the ban says that “access to beaches and for swimming is banned to anyone who does not have (swim wear) which respects good customs and secularism.”Cannes mayor David Lisnard, who introduced the local ban, said he did so to prohibit “beachwear ostentatiously showing a religious affiliation while France and places of religious significance are the target of terror attacks” as a means to avoid “trouble to public order.” Others have championed the bans as a move meant to empower women, claiming that the burkinis are a symbol of oppression. They’re both wrong. A woman wearing a burkini in Mahdia, Tunisia. Photo by Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Imag
See how a cute sugar glider practices flying in front of fan
You need to see this amazing place a tortoise owner built for his little dinosaur
See this bunch of adorable baby piglets who are just too sleepy to lift their heads react to sounds
We all can only hope to one day be as happy as this little goat …
“My fears came true: people called me fat and hideous, and I lived. And now I keep on living.” — Lena Dunham
Lena Dunham has always seemed rather comfortable bearing it all in front of the camera. From her countless nude/underwear scenes on “Girls” to her commitment to sharing unedited photos on Instagram, she certainly appears to be confident about her body. It wasn’t an easy journey; it took years of wading through numerous insecurities for her to get to where she is today. Not her natural habitat but she’s trying her darnedest!!! A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on Jan 3, 2016 at 11:45am PST “When I got out of college I thought, ‘What am I gonna do? No one’s gonna hire me, I’m a fat girl,'” she told People in 2014. Of course, that turned out to be the furthest thing from the truth. Dunham is now modeling for body-positive lingerie brand Lonely Lingerie alongside her “Girls” co-star Jemima Kirke. Jemima Kirke applying lipstick to Lena Dunham for the lingerie shoot. Photo by Zara Mirkin and Harry Were/Lonely Lingerie. All photos used with permission. Wearing lingerie can be an incredibly vulnerable experience, but the New Zealand-based lingerie brand is all about changing that perception. Most lingerie (and the ads for it) are designed for what’s known as the “male gaze.” They feature heavy airbrushing, complicated hooks and ties and underwires, and models in uncomfortable, awkward poses. While lots of women might want to wear lingerie, many don’t feel like they can for any number of reasons: They have the “wrong” body type, it’s too complicated, it’s not comfortable, it’s not designed for them, the list goes on. Lonely Lingerie wants lingerie to be freeing and empowering, something that women wear as “a love letter to themselves” rather than a gift for a spectator to enjoy. Photo By Zara Mirkin and Harry Were/Lonely Lingerie. It’s refreshing to see Dunham and Kirke wearing lingerie for themselves because they want to wear it, posing wit
A few weeks ago, my husband, son, and I were in a minor car accident.We made it out without any physical injuries, and our car was largely unscathed. The other car, which hit us from behind, had its hood smashed in. We all pulled to the side of the road and tried to figure out what to do. A man who was driving by with a tow truck stopped, as well.“Should we call the cops and get a report?” the man who hit us asked.“You can try, but they won’t come. They don’t come out here,” the man with the tow truck replied.“Let’s just exchange insurance info for now,” my husband suggested — we’d had a long day.They pulled out pens and paper while I paced next to the scene in an effort to console the frustrated toddler I was carrying.“There go two cops right there,” the man in the tow truck noted. There were two cop cars stopped at a red light on the other side of the intersection where we had crashed.“Should I wave him down?” the man who hit us asked.“You can try if you want. They’re not gonna stop,” said the man in the truck.The light turned green and the cops started driving toward us.Both men tried to flag them down. The first officer got closer until his car was directly next to the scene. He looked at us — he saw the curled-up hood of the car, saw the men, saw me, saw my baby. He flippantly fixed his fingers into a peace sign and drove away. The second officer drove by behind him without breaking her gaze from the road. I was baffled.“What the fuck?” I said to my husband. “Did you just see that shit?”“Doesn’t surprise me,” he said.“I told y’all they wouldn’t stop,” said the man with the tow truck. “So do you want me to tow your car to my shop?” he asked, turning back to the man with the damaged car.I stood silently, in awe. I don’t know how to silence the part of me that is shocked every time my humanity is erased, no matter how many times it happens. I know what to expect, and still, I expect to be regarded with respect and decency. The reality I’d experienced see
The key is replacing your bad habit with a healthier one.
On Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, Michelle Marie became the official voice of Ireland — at least on social media — for the duration of a week.Since 2012, the @Ireland Twitter account has featured a different person behind the handle every week, all of whom have some connection to Ireland or the Irish diaspora.Each person has their own unique voice and perspective to offer to the account’s 40,000-plus followers. And Michelle Marie, who normally tweets as @ChocCurvesModel, is certainly no exception: This proverb is the essence of my message – less comparing, more embracing our own beauty, worth, and strength pic.twitter.com/9kU9FmyaM1— Ireland / Michelle (@ireland) August 22, 2016 Marie is a single mother and plus-sized model, as well as an immigrant from the U.K. She’s also black, and, as she later disclosed, gay.Unfortunately, there are still a handful of people in this world who can’t fathom the idea that a fat, gay, black woman could live in Ireland, let alone be its voice for a week. And they wanted her to know — calling her “subhuman,” saying that Ireland is only for the Irish, and telling her to leave the country and so on and so forth — in that monstrous way that only anonymous people on the internet are capable. This is just a sampling of the hate that was out there; much of it was reported and deleted, although not before they were captured in screengrab perpetuity. Sadly, this part shouldn’t be surprising — though there is a certain irony to the fact that, according to their profiles, most of these racist trolls actually lived in the United States and thus almost certainly have no say in what does or does not constitute “Irish-ness.”Did I mention that was all just on her first day as the voice of @Ireland? But as a dedicated champion of body positivity and self-love, Marie was determined to use the @Ireland platform to make her voice heard. Black people can live in any country they like. We can read and write. We are educated. We can work. We can even
Museums aren’t just for humans anymore.
When Dominic Wilcox was asked to create the first ever interactive art exhibition for dogs, his #1 priority was that it actually be fun for the dogs.Pet-loving insurance company More Than commissioned the exhibit from Wilcox as part of their #PlayMore campaign, which encourages pet owners to play with their pets on a more regular basis to promote their overall well-being. Buck jumping into a giant dog-bowl-shaped ball pit at the dog exhibition. Photo via Dominic Wilcox. “Humans have so many art and design exhibitions to visit nowadays, it seemed only fair that dogs should get to see an exhibition created solely for them,” Wilcox wrote in an email.The exhibition took place on Aug. 19 and 20, 2016, in London and was attended by dogs and their humans of all shapes and sizes. Studies show that dogs don’t just love playtime — they get real mental and physical health benefits from it, too. A 2014 study conducted at Bristol University involving 4,000 dogs and their owners found that when owners increased the amount of regular play sessions with their dogs, the dogs were less aggressive, less depressed, and had fewer signs of anxiety. Just like how humans often feel better after doing something active (especially if it’s also fun), the same seems to be true for dogs. For dog owners who don’t always have time to provide their furry companions with a variety of activities, Wilcox’s interactive museum gave both humans and canines an opportunity to see and do new things. Like any good art exhibit, Wilcox made sure the dogs had interesting paintings to look at — at their eye level. Photo via Dominic Wilcox. Photo via Dominic Wilcox. When it came to the more interactive exhibits, the dogs could enjoy classic dog things like sticking their heads out the window in the smelly breeze… Note the shoes in the fan! Photo via Dominic Wilcox. …and running through a water fountain in the grass… @ShepherdsPieDog @HuwsThere and I